WikiLeaks suspends publishing

Julian Assange says that the organisation will focus on fighting a financial blockade.

Short of funds and the victim of a financial blockade, WikiLeaks is to suspend publishing operations. Announcing the decision at a press conference at the Frontline Club earlier today, Julian Assange said that the site planned to focus on raising new funds. He revealed that "an arbitrary and unlawful financial blockade" by the Bank of America, Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and Western Union had destroyed 95 per cent of WikiLeaks' revenues. He added that if it was not lifted by the new year the organisation would "simply not be able to continue". Donations to the site were running at €100,000 a month in 2010, but had dropped to a monthly figure of €6,000 to €7,000 this year.

In a statement, WikiLeaks said:

The blockade is outside of any accountable, public process. It is without democratic oversight or transparency.

The US government itself found that there were no lawful grounds to add WikiLeaks to a US financial blockade. But the blockade of WikiLeaks by politicised US finance companies continues regardless.

Earlier this year, Assange appeared at a New Statesman/Frontline Club debate on whistleblowing. You can watch his speech in full here.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Liam Fox as International Trade Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for International Trade.

Only Nixon, it is said, could have gone to China. Only a politician with the impeccable Commie-bashing credentials of the 37th President had the political capital necessary to strike a deal with the People’s Republic of China.

Theresa May’s great hope is that only Liam Fox, the newly-installed Secretary of State for International Trade, has the Euro-bashing credentials to break the news to the Brexiteers that a deal between a post-Leave United Kingdom and China might be somewhat harder to negotiate than Vote Leave suggested.

The biggest item on the agenda: striking a deal that allows Britain to stay in the single market. Elsewhere, Fox should use his political capital with the Conservative right to wait longer to sign deals than a Remainer would have to, to avoid the United Kingdom being caught in a series of bad deals. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.